Conflict in the workplace and even at home is often inevitable. Conflict is generally a good thing. A difference of opinion inspires creativity and growth. Imagine if everyone was the same and agreed all the time. Life would be boring!
The big challenge is knowing how to deal with conflict when it arises to encourage a win:win outcome.
“Seeking first to understand and then be understood,” Stephen Covey
Step 1: The conflict resolution process consists of setting some guidelines for the discussion. Keep the discussion above the line by taking Ownership, Accountability, and Responsibility for their actions.
Getting commitment from each party to play above the line will stop the tendency to get into a blame or excuse situation.
Getting both parties to have both self-respect and respect for others is the next step. Creating a Win:Win working environment is the only way that will give satisfactory results. In an environment of both self-respect as well as respect for others, both parties are willing to listen to the other’s point of view and then respond in an assertive way.
Step 2: Now is the time to get them talking. The rules are simple…
Each person gets to speak in turn on what their side of the situation is by starting with the phrase, “What I feel like expressing is…” The other party cannot interrupt until the first person has finished speaking by saying “…and that’s what I feel like expressing.”
Then the other party is to repeat to the first what he/she understands their issue to be. Only once the second person has successfully understood the situation will the first person be able to have their turn to state their case.
This method of conflict resolution allows a creative resolution to even the most challenging of issues. As long as both parties are willing, there will usually be a successful outcome.